Q&A: Kit Wilkinson
Elija Miller left the fold and he had no plans to ever come back. But, when a young woman is murdered in his former Amish community, the policeman in him can't leave it alone. Now, he finds himself in the role of protector to people who won't even talk to him. In Plain Secrets, author Kit Wilkinson delivers all the heart-pounding thrills and and heart-melting romance that readers have come to expect.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN PLAIN SECRETS?
My editor and I had talked about writing a sort of prodigal son-type story, so I mulled over that idea for a while and eventually I came up with the character of Eli Miller, an Amish raised Philadelphia Police Detective. And what better than a murder to bring an Amish detective back into the fold ;-) The Amish setting came very naturally for this story even though I knew it would be a challenge for me (since I am not Amish). Of course, that is half the fun of writing in my opinion— learning.
Well, I had this totally romantic image of the Amish before I started doing research for this book. I was pretty shocked to find out that they shop at Target and have generator-run electricity and refrigerators and lights. At the same time, I have come to greatly admire something about their society which I think is nearly extinct in our own—the concept of making decisions for the good of others regardless of the sacrifice made to self. We talk all the time about how we are a “me” society. But isn’t there always someone else so much more “me” than we? So, we think, “Hey, I’m not that bad. I’m pretty decent compared to her.” Right? When I was writing the heroine, Hannah Nolt, and really getting into her head, she was always thinking about others—and it shamed me. I knew I could do better. I was inspired.
WHAT PARTS WERE INSPIRED BY REAL LIFE (EITHER RESEARCH OR EXPERIENCE)?
A visit to Lancaster allowed me to see the layout of the land. I took a ton of pictures. I checked out barns and stables and shops. I tried to study the sounds and smells and the sights. I even checked out the inside of a couple of buggies. So all the description was real-life inspired. Also, I tend throw a little bit of myself into my heroines. I think that comes naturally for authors. I did with Hannah Nolt as well. To some extent, Hannah and I share an experience. But, it’s kind of a spoiler, so I won’t reveal what that is.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT STORY IS SUCH A POWERFUL WAY TO COMMUNICATE TRUTH?
It is much less painful than a lecture. Much more entertaining too ;-) ha-ha....Okay, I’ll be serious now.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I’m working on two follow-up stories to Plain Secrets. They aren’t sequels but stories about some of the secondary characters. It’s fun. Since I already have a good sense of what these characters are like, I can really dive into the suspense.